Photo by Ammar Yonis.

Qôca by Ammar Yonis


Qôca, a series demonstrating the joy that could exist if afro-textured hair wasn’t seen as a foreign element in corporate settings. With internship applications opening soon, I hesitate, knowing that sooner or later I’ll have to submit a video interview. In the past I’ve wondered if I’ve already jeopardised an opportunity by not conforming to the image of professionalism that I’ve been exposed to my whole life.

This project follows a group of young men with various hair styles navigating their way through a professional space whilst asserting dominance and comfort. The truth is, a lot of young people with afro-textured hair are discouraged from pursuing professional opportunities because they exist in spaces that they struggle to associate with, spaces that do not promote their version of natural hair.

Qôca tries to imagine what it would feel like for a group of people to exist comfortably in an environment they would otherwise feel unwelcome in.

The word Qôca is a word closely associated with hair in Harari and it directly translates to ‘cut it’. Qôca cigar kha!”

Qôca by Ammar Yonis is created for Shelter 2020.